The Gillette Roughriders baseball team was good in all phases Sunday. It demonstrated power on the mound and at the plate to pick up two more wins in Cheyenne, after going 1-1 Saturday.
Gillette’s batting was on display during a 12-2 win over the Rocky Mountain Oysters 1 (Grand Junction, Colorado) to start the day. Then pitching dominated the second game and four runs were enough for the Roughriders to beat Prime 1 (Littleton, Colorado) 4-0.
“To go 3-1 down here this weekend and have the chance to go 4-0, we liked how we performed,” Roughriders coach Nate Perleberg said. “We’re playing good baseball.”
With the first road trip and overnight stay of the season, also came a bit of slow start Sunday, Perleberg said. Still, the Roughriders scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second and the score was up to 12-2 before the damage was done.
Mason Powell continued his big season at the plate with four RBI’s, including a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the third inning to make it 9-0. Cole Swisher also drove in pair of runs, one in the first and one in the second inning, and Jason Fink had an RBI in the fifth.
Kaden Race picked up the win on the mound, pitching four innings, surrendering two runs and striking out four. Garrett Lynde closed out the final inning, after the Roughriders scored three in the bottom of the fifth to end the game 12-2 on the run rule.
“It was nice to see us put a team away, especially in the heat like that and conserve some energy,” Perleberg said. “Then in Game 2, we faced a really good arm. And (Hayden) Sylte was a dude on the mound for us. He really threw the ball well.”
Offensively, Perleberg said the Roughriders just took what Prime gave them at the plate. It took a little chaos on the base paths to score the first run. An errant throw on Kaleb Lewis’ stolen base attempt allowed him to get to third base and Race to score. Then Brody Richardson drove in Lewis with a sacrifice fly for the 2-0 lead top of the first inning.
That gave Sylte the run support he needed. He struck out 10 batters in his five shutout innings and only allowed a pair of hits. It was Sylte’s first start of the season and the future North Dakota State pitcher said it “feels pretty good” to start like that.
“I was in the zone pretty good,” he said. “I don’t know if I expect 10 strikeouts every game, but I demand to throw strikes.”
By the time Sylte exited the game, the Roughriders had a 4-0 lead. The second pair of runs came on back-to-back at-bats, when Tanner Richards and Zach Brown both hit RBI singles in the top of the fourth inning to double the lead.
The win moves the Roughriders to 10-1 through two weeks of play. Their lone loss came Saturday against Prime 2 on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh inning. They bounced back in dominant fashion, though, and outscored their final three opponents 25-2.
“We saw a lot of good arms this weekend. We felt like we should be 4-0, but we played well as a team,” Lewis said. “I felt like it was a good weekend for us as as ball club.”
The Roughriders don’t get much rest next week. They Casper on the road at 3 and 5 p.m. Wednesday, before crossing state lines Saturday to take on Rapid City Post 320 at 1 and 3 p.m.